If, like I was, you were hoping that the fawning ball-washing of Peyton Manning would subside after his latest historic gag-job in a playoff game, you better think again.  I was holding out hope that last night’s boneheaded, game-costing overtime interception was our last, best chance to get the legion of Manning apologists in the press to admit what we all know: That he’s a pisspoor postseason quarterback.  But if the first reactions are any indication.  First, a few facts:

*Manning is now 9-11 career in the postseason

*He has the most playoff losses of any quarterback  (Side note: If the Pats win today, Brady passes Joe Montana for the most wins all time)

*He’s been to the playoffs 12 times, and bounced out in his 1st game 8 times

*In playoff games where the temperature is 40 degrees or below, he’s 0-4

*Yes he had 3 TDs yesterday.  At home.  Against an old and slow defense in the thin air.  In 5 full quarters.  And turned the ball over 3 times.

*Manning took the Broncos exactly as far as Tim Tebow did, with one difference: Tebow’s Denver playoff record is 1-1. Manning’s is 0-1.

But if you’re thinking the rumpswabbery will subside and the pundits will finally admit the emperor they worship so much is naked, you’re kidding yourself.   Dan Dierdorf, who spent the game creeping on Manning a hundred times harder than Brent Musberger ever did on Katherine Webb, after the INT barely managed to choke out the word “mistake” like Fonzie saying “I was wr-r-r-ong.”  (If Manning had thrown a 70 yard game-tying TD with 30 seconds left, instead of  Joe Flacco, you would’ve found the video of Dierdorf’s reaction on a porn site under “Squirting.”) On the ESPN postgame Trent Dilfer blamed the pick on the Broncos defense. Merrill Hoge agreed.  Failing to mention that the Broncos wouldn’t even have been in overtime if Trindon Holliday hadn’t run back a punt and a kick for TDs.  And the whole ESPN crew pulled out their old dog-eared copies of “Guide to Brett Favre Apologizing,” flipped through them and came up with that old chestnut “He was trying to make a play.”  Yahoo!’s game report opened with this:

DENVER – This wasn’t Peyton Manning’s fault.

…Professional Denver buffoon Woody Paige went 50 paragraphs and 2,000 words about the game, mostly blamed it on John Fox taking a knee at the end of regulation and only acknowledged Manning’s responsibility with “They lost the game on an intercepted pass late in the fifth quarter.”  And we can only imagine the spin and excuse making will just get worse once full time Peyton fanboys like Peter King, Phil Simms and Ron Jaworski are heard from.  When we all know better.  Everyone who’s still carrying water for him should be forced to go on national TV and yell “Peyton Manning is a below average postseason quarterback and always has been!” the way Daniel Plainview made Eli Sunday admit what a fraud he is in “There Will Be Blood.”

But whether they’re willing to acknowledge it or not, we know the truth. @JerryThornton1